What Did You Watch This Weekend?

By  · Published on September 15th, 2014

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The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid) and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers.

The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend.

My trip to Alaska ended with a few hours to kill before our flight out of Anchorage, so we took up another friend’s suggestion and checked out the city’s Bear Tooth Theatrepub. The food and beer were quite good, and while I had already seen Snowpiercer earlier this year we figured it was a fitting end to our (partially) snowy adventure. This second viewing actually confirmed my initial thoughts in that while the movie is visually interesting and often humorous it’s also dumb, poorly written and a sad attempt at world-building. I’m not happy saying that as I love the rest of Bong Joon-ho’s filmography, but I just can’t see his latest as anything but a mildly entertaining misfire. There’s just zero thought given to the train’s design outside of the narrow focus of each individual car. Each one may seem to make some sense, but when they’re linked together it shows a severe lack of planning and design. The same can be said for the script – individual scenes offer excitement and ideas, but collectively it’s just a mess. And the ending… good god the ending.

Going from the future to the past, I also re-watched Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs for the first time since its release in ’88. I recalled not being in tune with its particular comedic sense and hoped a more mature (?) me would finally see what everyone else loves here. And guess what? I kind of almost do a little bit! This offbeat ensemble comedy riffs on the suburban identity in some fun ways – some of Rick Ducommun’s line deliveries and actions killed me – but I still say too much of it falls flat. Practically everything with Corey Feldman for instance just lands with a thud instead of a laugh. Tom Hanks is solid as is Henry Gibson, but I still can’t get onboard with the stylized slapstick nature of it all. And if I’m being completely honest, I think I enjoy the somewhat similarly-themed The Watch more. (Don’t judge me.) Arrow Video is releasing it on Blu-ray loaded with special features including a feature-length making-of and an ultra-rare work-print version sourced from Dante’s own collection, and even if you’re lukewarm on the film itself these supplements make a strong case for a purchase.

What did you watch this weekend?

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.